Spacecraft Thermal Blanket Tailoring Engineer

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New ideas are all around us, but only a few will change the world. That’s our focus at JPL. We ask the biggest questions, then search the universe for answers—literally. We build upon ideas that have guided generations, then share our discoveries to inspire generations to come. Your mission—your opportunity—is to seek out the answers that bring us one step closer. If you’re driven to discover, create, and inspire something that lasts a lifetime and beyond, you’re ready for JPL.

Located in Pasadena, California, JPL has a campus-like environment situated on 177 acres in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains and offers a work environment unlike any other: we inspire passion, foster innovation, build collaboration, and reward excellence.

This unique opportunity is part of the Mechanical Systems Engineering, Fabrication and Test Division which engages in research, technology development, and the creation of advanced mechanical, thermal, propulsion, and electronic packaging systems with expertise that spans the full breath of mechanical disciplines and is applied from architectural concept development through operations.

As a Spacecraft Thermal Blanket Tailoring Engineer, you will be working for JPL’s Propulsion, Thermal and Materials Engineering Section which provides leadership and unique world-class expertise in a wide range of technologies and technical discipline areas of chemical and electrical propulsion, thermal, materials, contamination control, analytical chemistry, geochemical instruments, physics-based modeling, and multiphase flow.

The Responsibilities of this position are to:

  • Provide sustained thermal engineering support for multiple flight projects as a lead in-training of a small team to produce and manage single layer insulation (SLI) and multi-layer insulation (MLI) deliverables.

Responsibilities post-training include:

  • Will act as the primary interface with flight projects to design custom SLI and MLI blankets.
  • Coordinate blanket technicians access and logistics to flight hardware (payloads and spacecraft) with flight project leads
  • Plan logistics and technician support for a variety of assignments within multiple JPL facilities, nation-wide at non-JPL spacecraft/payload manufacturer’s facilities, as well as internationally at the facilities of any of JPL’s partners, including launch pad support.
  • Work with JPL and JPL partners thermal system engineers to guide the material selection, design and implementation of thermal SLI and MLI.
  • Responsible to work with the line management to maintain sufficient and competent talent to support ongoing flight project work. Train and mentor new members.
  • Craft and make effective presentations at major reviews and for routine team meetings to explain the MLI capabilities, design and status to managers and peers; close all ensuing review action items.
  • Develop complex MLI/SLI solutions from design requirements
  • Responsible for completing significant project or assignment milestones.
  • Recruit, train and retain technicians to implement designs and maintain best practices.
  • Lead the patterning, fabrication, bake-outs, delivery, and installation of flight MLI/SLI​

Near-term responsibilities include:

  • Plan and coordinate the bake-out of blankets prior to delivery.
  • Maintain traceable records of all materials and part numbers produced
  • Remain cognizant of JPL heritage best practices and industry practices and strive to improve JPL processes.
  • Support design trades that successfully balance performance margins, resource use, risk, cost, and schedule.
  • Build trusting relationships between project customers, team members, and line management.
  • Partner with other engineers to complete interface agreements.
  • Develop and maintain extensive knowledge base of applicable industry and/or academic practices and standards.
  • Develop and maintain extensive knowledge base of applicable Laboratory policies and procedures, NASA policies and procedures, and government regulations

Required Qualifications

  • A Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace, Industrial, Mechanical, Chemical, Engineering or Applied Physics) with a minimum of 3 years of related experience or a Master’s degree in similar disciplines with a minimum of 1 year of related experience or a PhD in similar disciplines.
  • A general understanding of radiative heat transfer and material science.
  • Experience with computer aided design.
  • Demonstrated experience and/or education with managing plans and coordinating logistics.
  • Leadership experience with teams.
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills.
  • Willingness to travel extensively to support MLI installations across the country and internationally.

Desired Skills:

  • Familiarity with flight thermal balance tests (instrument, spacecraft).
  • Familiarity with thermal environments across the solar system for flight system development.
  • A general comprehension of space thermal architecture, systems, design & hardware.
  • Familiarity with typical instrumentation and ground support equipment used in thermal tests.

JPL is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to sex, race, color, religion, national origin, citizenship, ancestry, age, marital status, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, pregnancy or perceived pregnancy, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, protected military or veteran status or any other characteristic or condition protected by Federal, state or local law.

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Tagged as: spacecraft, instrument, mli installations, jpl processes

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